Top Five Takeaways From Our UK Event With Casting Director Sue Needleman and Agent Paul Spyker

Last month we were thrilled to have a double act for our regular series of Q&A events: Sue Needleman, who casts for CBBC, and top UK theatrical agent Paul Spyker. We breakdown the top points from the event here for you.


1. “It has to be as good as the real deal.” (S.N.)

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If a brief calls for an American accent, then it has to be a believable American accent, not an impression, because you will be up against genuine American actors. Remember, play to your strengths and don’t apologise or come up with excuses as to why your accent is not spot on. Do you research and practice, practice, practice.

2. The pitfalls of social media.

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Be oh so extra-super-careful about what you post on social media in the public domain. People and clients can do their research on you just as easy as you can research them, and it can be difficult to remove things once they are in the public domain. Build a professional Twitter account that also shows your personality.

3. Showreels – “Quality over quantity.” (S.N.)

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Two great clips is better than 50 mediocre clips, but above all you need to have some video footage or a showreel on your profile. And just get to the point, casting directors want to see what you can do, so put your best clips first and try to include a varied collection of emotions.

4. Self-Tapes

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A self-tape isn’t instead of an audition, you still need to get into the room if you can! “If you’re starting out it is important to get into the room” (S.N.). You should get as much information about the self-tape as you would about an audition and still do research. If it’s an audition for a TV show, watch an episode so you can get the vibe. Ask for tips or anything you should pay attention to and try and get someone to read with you off camera.

5. “Enlarge your knowledge!” (P.S.)

Outside of acting, try to go to the movies and theatre as much as possible to gain background about the field you want to pursue. Understand the people that you want to work for, their passions, before you start to develop yours. Audition and submit for small parts, student films, and fringe plays to build your CV. Harness your passion and work as hard as you can to achieve the things you want to and never stop practicing your art.

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Our next event will take place in London Wednesday 24 August with PEM Master Instructor Sarah Victoria, find out more here

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